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The Role of Cultural Factors in Sustainable Food Consumption—An Investigation of the Consumption Habits among International Students in Hungary

Nikolett Nemeth (), Ildiko Rudnak (), Prespa Ymeri () and Csaba Fogarassy ()
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Nikolett Nemeth: Doctoral School of Management and Business Administration, Szent István University, 2010 Gödöllő, Hungary
Ildiko Rudnak: Institute of Social Sciences and Teacher Training, Szent István University, 2100 Gödöllő, Hungary
Prespa Ymeri: Doctoral School of Management and Business Administration, Szent István University, 2010 Gödöllő, Hungary
Csaba Fogarassy: Climate Change Economics Research Centre, Szent István University, 2100 Gödöllő, Hungary

Sustainability, 2019, vol. 11, issue 11, 1-1

Abstract: Food consumption plays a pivotal role in the economy and the health of individuals. Foods and meals, in addition to sustaining life, also have many functions in society, such as human bonding. The purpose of our study is to present a qualitative research method to show the role of food consumption in the culture of several ethnic groups, and to introduce the ways in which cultural factors influence eating habits and local food supply conditions. In the first part of the research, the sample was a mix of multiple nationalities. During our investigations, the main questions were: What do you think about the culture and value food consumption? What kind of food do you consume the most? What differences do you find in the habits of different ethnic groups, especially regarding their eating habits? In the second part, we asked the main actors of the local supply system (restaurants, buffets, shops) about the ways they track the demand of foreign students. Our results have been implemented into two different SWOT matrixes. We can conclude that such research on food consumption attitudes and community behavior is essential. Most of the interviewed students are interested in comparing their diet and cultural traditions to those of other nations’, and prefer local foods. The study proved that eating habits in Hungary have an impact on the eating habits of international students, and they changed them from several perspectives. The study found that dietary choices are complex decisions that have a significant environmental and social impact, but we need to add that thanks to the strong cultural background, the students can keep their sustainable eating and community values abroad, which can also strongly influence the development of the local food supply practices.

Keywords: cultural factors of consumption; sustainable diet; local food supply; sustainable food; healthy ingredients (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:11:y:2019:i:11:p:3052-:d:235590